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Season review: Czech Republic

Published: Sunday 31 May 2015, 22.00CET
Pavel Horváth signed off with his last and Miroslav Koubek won a first as FC Viktoria Plzeň took the title in a year FC Slovan Liberec lifted the cup and Pavel Kadeřábek stood out.
by Ondřej Zlámal
Season review: Czech Republic
Pavel Horváth bowed out on a high with a third Plzeň title ©Getty Images

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Published: Sunday 31 May 2015, 22.00CET

Season review: Czech Republic

Pavel Horváth signed off with his last and Miroslav Koubek won a first as FC Viktoria Plzeň took the title in a year FC Slovan Liberec lifted the cup and Pavel Kadeřábek stood out.

Champions: FC Viktoria Plzeň
The third title in the club's history was the first for 63-year-old coach Miroslav Koubek and the last one for retiring captain and playmaker Pavel Horváth, who received a standing ovation when departing in his final game. Plzeň managed to beat their biggest rivals AC Sparta Praha on both occasions in the league – 2-0 both times – while the haul of 72 points was a club record, helped by 70 goals in just 30 games.

The players devoted the title to Slovakian defender Marián Čišovský who is fighting a serious disease but nevertheless joined in the emotional celebrations. "I would swap this title which I have been waiting 32 years to win for his health," said Koubek.

Cup final: FC Slovan Liberec 1-1 FK Jablonec (Slovan win 3-1 on penalties)
The neighbouring clubs from northern Bohemia clashed in dramatic final in Mlada Boleslav. Underdogs Slovan were a goal down until the 86th minute, when substitute Marek Bakoš equalised. Penalties brought fame for Lukáš Hroššo, who allowed only one effort to beat him. David Vavruška's charges not only avoided relegation, but added cup glory in an up-and-down season.

European places*
FC Viktoria Plzeň – UEFA Champions League third qualifying round
AC Sparta Praha – UEFA Champions League third qualifying round
FC Slovan Liberec – UEFA Europa League third qualifying round
FK Jablonec – UEFA Europa League third qualifying round
FK Mladá Boleslav – UEFA Europa League second qualifying round

*subject to final confirmation from UEFA

Player of the year: Pavel Kadeřábek (AC Sparta Praha)
"Pavel was one of our key players in the autumn qualifiers," Czech Republic coach Pavel Vrba said about the right-back with a modern attacking outlook. Kadeřábek is an indispensable player not only for Sparta but also for national side and the Czech Republic Under-21 squad. The 23-year-old defender was voted the country's top player by the league association.

One to watch: Jan Holenda (FC Viktoria Plzeň)
Scorer of the opening goal against Sparta in the key win in May, the uncompromising forward showed his ability to get vital goals at vital times. His spectacular scissor-kick in the last game – a contender for goal of the season – stunned the fans, and his ability to find the target could be key during the qualification campaign for the UEFA Champions League group stage.

Leading scorer: David Lafata (AC Sparta Praha), 20 goals

Relegated: FC Hradec Králové, SK Dynamo České Budějovice

Promoted: SK Sigma Olomouc, FK Varnsdorf*

*to be approved by Football Association of the Czech Republic (CMFS)

Last updated: 01/06/15 1.07CET

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